Educational Materials and Resources

  1. Foodborne Illness & Hygiene

Employee Health & Hygiene

Employee Health and Hygiene are essential to preventing foodborne illnesses in food service establishments.  Food service staff are required to report foodborne illness symptoms and diagnosed foodborne illnesses to managers or the person in charge.   The person in charge must exclude or restrict staff based on symptoms, diagnosis, job duties, and population served.  The FDA Employee Health & Hygiene Handbook includes illness policies, employee reporting requirements, proper exclusion and restriction use, handwashing policies and procedures, glove use policies and procedures, and decision trees to help establishments comply with health and hygiene rules.  

FDA Employee Health & Hygiene Handbook 

Send Sick Employees Home Now - Simple Illness Policy Poster

Vomit & Diarrhea Cleanup Procedures

Food Service Establishments are required to have vomit and diarrhea cleanup procedures.   These procedures should include how to clean and disinfect the affected area, proper disposal of the waste, use of personal protective equipment (e.g., disposable gloves and protective clothing), and disposal of potentially contaminated food and supplies that can't be cleaned and sanitized.   Establishments can create their own procedures or use the procedures linked below.  Procedures and disinfection products should be designed and rated to kill Norovirus.  Products and procedures designed to kill Norovirus are capable of killing all other foodborne illness pathogens of concern.   Blood and Bodily Fluid Cleanup Kits with Instructions adequately cover cleanup requirements but be sure to replace the kit or components after use.  Staff should be shown where cleanup procedures and all required products can be found.  

Vomit and Diarrhea Cleanup Procedures - Procedure for cleaning and disinfecting after vomit or diarrhea event

Handwashing and Preventing Bare Hand Contact with Ready-to-Eat (RTE) Foods

Proper Handwashing is one of the most important steps to preventing the spread of foodborne illnesses.   Foodservice staff must wash their hands with soap and warm water prior to engaging in food prep and anytime their hands may become contaminated.  Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not an approved alternative to washing with soap and water, though it can be used after proper handwashing as an additional sanitizing step.   Hand sanitizers do not remove germs and do not effectively sanitize dirty hands.  

Even though washing hands with soap and water very effectively removes dirt and germs, it does not remove all germs.  Viruses and bacteria can remain in the grooves of skin, nail beds, and cuticles even when using the best handwashing methods.  According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Norovirus needs as few as 18 particles to make a person ill and there are approximately a trillion viral copies per gram of feces in an ill person.   This is why wearing disposable gloves when handling RTE foods is important.  They provide an additional barrier to prevent any remaining germs from contaminating food.   So, remember to wash your hands and wear gloves or use utensils when handling RTE foods!! 

No Bare Hand Contact with Ready-to-Eat Foods - Poster describing RTE foods and proper glove/utensil use

Employees Must Wash Hands - Poster with "employees must wash hands" statement and list of when to wash hands.

Designated Handwashing Sink Sign - Small signs to designate handwashing sinks

Germs and your Cell Phone - Information on cell phone use and hygiene